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Australia: Tabcorp, Tatts mega-merger may ‘increase competition’

 |  November 26, 2017

An AU$11 billion (US$8.4 billion) merger of Australia’s two biggest gambling companies would have no negative impact on the wagering sector and may even increase competition, a Federal Court judge has ruled.

The Australian Competition Tribunal on Wednesday, November 22, released the reasons behind its divisive decision to clear the proposed mega-merger of Tabcorp and Tatts Group for a second time, after its initial approval was successfully appealed by the competition watchdog and sent back for review.

Tribunal president Justice John Middleton rejected the arguments raised by rival betting operators and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that he had made “reviewable errors” when assessing the detriments of creating a merged gaming behemoth.

“The merged entity will be a more effective competitor and the merger is likely to lead to greater competition, particularly in online wagering,” he said.

“This increased competition brings about competition benefits to the racing industry and to consumers.”

Justice Middleton also remarked that the proposed merger was “consistent with the trend towards industry consolidation”, and said the objections of the ACCC and CrownBet were “immaterial.”

Full Content: Financial Review

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